Pinkman – Celebrating five years of distribution
Af Sandra S. Borch
Through the past five years the Rotterdam imprint Pinkman has established itself as one of the most consistent platforms for pushing and distributing retro-futuristic and driving electro grooves. This is marked with a compilation series called “Five Years of Tears”, and the first selection up features three usual suspects and one newcomer.
The Dutch music scene circa the late ‘00s and early ‘10s was dominated by cute-as-a-button-DJs like Tiësto and Armin Van Buuren whose twinkling twist of trance made them the heroes on peak riding the storm of the global EDM tsunami. But for many, that era and that sound are far from what defines the Dutch club culture and music. Just a few steps deeper from those acts, the Dutch underground music scene is packed with raw plonks and rapid plinks.
The scene around The Hague had I-F as a forefront of the underground electronic sphere for over three decades. Gesloten Cirkel’s sound also smacks of The Hague, and his release from 2014 “Submit the X” will go down as one of the century’s best techno records with slamming, electro-flavored techno that is just as joyful as it is heavy and brutal.
Also, by the end of the ‘90s Rotterdam was associated with harder-then-hard techno. Rotterdam Terror Corps and DJ Distortion pioneered a different ultrafast style of techno. Terrorcore, splittercore, speedcore or also known as gabber. All music that made your friends smile but your parents cry.
This is the music tradition we get on “Five Years of Tears vol. I”, the first installment of the compilation series celebrating the Rotterdam imprint Pinkman. This sound is the DNA of the label, and it is exactly what can be heard in the work of the majority of the releases by Kris Baha, Dollkraut and many more coming out of Pinkman. Label boss Patrick Marsman has taken the sound to his heart. He established the label within the fraternity of Dutch labels thanks to the outcome from Drvg Dvltvre, DJ Overdose, Innershades, Myriadd and many more.
This compilation starts out with dramatic moves for the dance floor and ends with the moody, crunched up techno.
Ernestas Sadau’s powerful, raw and menacing cut sets the scene with a half-minute break that introduces a steady beat of claps. The second track is by Alessandro Parisi who delves deep into his synthesizer toolkit, and what comes out is a highly emotional production, infused with sirens and melodies that may cause tearful mourning on the dancefloors. On the B side Identified Patient provides yet another one of his notoriously slow and filthy underground creepers, while Randstad delivers another burst of energy that celebrates raw percussion, gloomy pads and haunting vocal samples, altogether hints of an old dark wave 7-inch.
The diversity of styles covered on the four track compilation fits nicely with the rest of the Pinkman discography – it builds upon tradition, bends genres and communicates an atmosphere. This makes it a fine addition to the Pinkman archive and cause. It’s not defined by genres, but by moods and emotions – and this mood is covered by the title of the compilation.